March 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The opposition Sudan Call has launched a mediation to heal the rift between the two factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) stressing that it stands at the same distance from the two parties.
Since the beginning of the fracture within the armed group last year, the Sudanese opposition leaders called for self-restraint and sought to discuss the matter individually with the factions led by Malik Agar and the faction of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.
However, clashes between the factions in rebel-controlled the Blue Nile State are reported regularly and the opposition groups said they feel the damage caused by the dispute on their efforts for a just peace and democratic reforms in the country.
In a statement released after a four-day meeting held in Paris to discuss the roadmap agreement on Saturday, the opposition umbrella announced the formation of a good offices committee to organize a dialogue between the two SPLM-N factions.
Justice and Equality leader Gibril Ibrahim said the committee will be chaired by the newly appointed Sudan Call Secretary-General Minni Minnawi, adding it was tasked with the organization of a meeting between the two parties.
For his part, Minnawi on Sunday stated that the Sudan Call has already sent a letter to the two parties in this respect and conveyed them to a meeting.
The committee will be composed not only from the Sudan Call members but will include the opposition National Consensus Forces, the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid al-Nur and anybody that had a leverage and can contribute to settling the difference,” said Minnawi in a public meeting held in Paris.
The committee will work to stop the fighting between the two factions in the Blue Nile, and broker a settlement that leads to reunite the rebel movement or at least a “positive coexistence” between them within the framework of the Sudan Call.
In its statement, the opposition alliance called on the two factions “to adhere to the supreme goals of the Movement and the interest of citizens and the homeland”.
The SPLM-N al-Hilu declined to take part in the Sudan Call meeting because the other faction participates in the meeting as the “SPLM-N Agar”.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on the sidelines of the meeting, Agar welcomed the efforts of the opposition forces to mediate between them and expressed readiness to participate in any meeting the committee will call them to attend with the al-Hilu group.
Also, he wondered why the other faction “wants to dictate their name” and to ask they renounce the name of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). He pointed to the existence of several factions using the name of the SPLM in Sudan and South Sudan, adding the same exists for the other groups like the Sudan Liberation Movement or the Umma Party.
“You were part of my movement and split. So, if you want to change your name do it but you cannot force me to change my name,” he stressed.
The SPLM-N is now divided into two factions: one led by al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged last year over the right of self-determination and other organisational issues.